The producers of Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg's new musical The Pirate Queen finally allowed that the fight was lost. They announced June 5 that the multi-million-dollar, critically shellacked show would end its Broadway run June 17. Upon closing, it will have played 85 performances and 32 previews at the Hilton Theatre.
The admission of defeat let the producers of Young Frankenstein say publicly what everyone has known for months: The new Mel Brooks musical will play the Hilton. The show, which will be directed and choreographed by Susan Stroman (her first new Broadway show in three-and-one-half years), will begin previews Oct. 11 with an official opening Nov. 8. Roger Bart, no longer the eternal sidekick, will head the cast in the title role. He will also be joined by Megan Mullally as Elizabeth, Sutton Foster as Inga and Shuler Hensley as the monster.
One thing you can say about Nathan Lane — unlike some of Broadway's other leading men I could mention, who grace the stage only once every few years, he keeps working. The star of last season's Butley will be back on Broadway in December playing President Charles Smith in David Mamet's newest play, November. The comedy, according to a previous New York Times story, concerns incumbent President Smith and is set in the final days before the election. The action unfolds over one day and involves, according to a synopsis provided by the producers, "civil marriage, gambling casinos, lesbians, American Indians, presidential libraries, questionable pardons and campaign contributions."
*** Lane became a star playing Nathan Detroit in Guys and Dolls. That was more than a decade ago. Now the classic Frank Loesser musical is headed back to Broadway. Michael Grandage, currently riding high with the Broadway production of Frost/Nixon, will bring his London version of the show to town in 2008. Rob Ashford — who now has a London career thanks to Grandage — choreographed the London revival and will repeat his work on Broadway. The Ambassador Theatre Group is producing. No casting has been announced, but the West End version had a starry line-up, including Ewan McGregor and Jane Krakowski as, respectively, Sky Masterson and Miss Adelaide.
How do you follow up the titanic The Coast of Utopia? Well, Shakespeare's one way. Done well, Shakespeare can follow any act. And so the next offering by Lincoln Center Theater at the Vivian Beaumont Theater will be Cymbeline, directed by Mark Lamos. Previews will begin Nov. 1 with an official opening at the Beaumont Dec. 2. No casting has been announced.
For its smaller theatre, LCT has booked The Glorious Ones, Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty's new musical about theatre history's major players. Graciela Daniele directed and choreographed the show's world premiere this spring at Pittsburgh Public Theater, and will repeat her duties.
Off-Broadway, at Playwrights Horizons, A.R. Gurney's latest, Crazy Mary,, opened to mixed reviews. Nonetheless, it's sold out and has extended to June 26. It stars Kristine Nielsen and Sigourney Weaver. Directing is the only person who ever directs Weaver on stage, hubby Jim Simpson.